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Plans for the Pevensey Food Festival have been given the green light by organisers this week as they prepare for ‘an October revolution’ of special dishes that will link 16 venues across the locality from the Heron in Westham to the highly acclaimed Raipur Indian Restaurant in Pevensey Bay.

Establishments to be invited to participate in the Pevensey Food Festival include; The Heron, Westham, Priory Court Hotel & Restaurant, Castle Cottage Tea Rooms, Royal Oak and Castle, The Smugglers, Castle Inn, Raipur Indian Restaurant, Miah Indian Restaurant, Rose’s Fish Bar, Happy Dragon Chinese, PFC, new venture at Golden House Chinese take-away, Bayside Diner, Ocean View Bakery and Restaurant, The Aqua Bar and Restaurant, The Moorings and the Bay Hotel.

The new small scale venture for the Bay is partly inspired by the ‘tennerfests’ in Jersey.

The fixed-price food festival is famous in the Channel Islands. For six weeks from the 1st October, local restaurants across Jersey and Guernsey are encouraged to create special, all-inclusive menus that provide diners with more at a fixed amount.

Travel site Jerseytravel.com explains that “the initiative gives restaurateurs a platform from which to promote their businesses and restaurant goers access to the finest food the islands have to offer at affordable prices. Menus start at £10.

The travel site adds “over the past 13 years, the Tennerfest has grown in popularity, providing diners with excellent value-for-money and an accessible way to sample the best of Jersey’s vibrant food scene”.

Here in Westham, Pevensey and Pevensey Bay, the small scale venture could take on a number of different flavours.

What is interesting about the idea is the way in which menus might be made specifically for the festival that could offer variety and originality.

The festival could draw in hundreds of new people into the locality to see what is on offer at the various locations. Of course many of the venues are within walking distance.

Talking about the possibilities Katie Bundy, the owner of Ocean View Bakery and Restaurant told us “put us down for this one, I will be doing a different homemade pie every day as part of our special menu offerings for the course of the festival”.

More details about the Pevensey Food Festival are to be published in a centre page spread in edition 26 of the Pevensey Bay Journal, in local newsagents next Wednesday (22 May).

People have already made comparison with Pevfest, a live local music event that ran in Pevensey and Pevensey Bay for five years, that became a victim of its own success. The close network of venues is primed for events that link public houses and restaurants together.

What also works with the idea, like Pevfest, which saw up to 30 bands playing live over a single weekend in local public houses, is not just the close proximity of all the venues and the classic seaside small scale setting together with the historic setting of Pevensey.

In addition, families and groups coming to the Bay bring their own life and dynamic to proceedings.

This is something we have seen with a number of scarecrow festivals here and also with the Vehicles of Yesteryear and AquaFest events. In addition, charity weekenders at the Castle Inn, and the wassailing event each year at the Castle Market car park in Pevensey are a big local draw.

There is something about landscape of the locality that is a natural setting for these fixed feature events.

Talking about the plan, one of the organisers, Shirley McKinnon, who also organised Pevfest, told the Pevensey Bay Journal today (May 16), “I thought I would update you with where I have got to with regard to Tennerfest I mentioned from Jersey.

“I have been in touch with all the local hostelries and think I have enough interested to have a go. The purpose of contacting you now is to ask if I can use your suggested title, mentioned in the article you ran. It is of course a crib from our PEVFEST but I am tempted to call it PEVFEAST as you had mentioned”.

“The name does have a resonance which makes it individual. It also has the benefit of being able to be used for other Food type festivals that the area can use”.

The idea for PEVFEAST came originally from long term Bay resident Gina Bowman, who coined the word in March 2017.

She pitched the idea to the makers of the Peveney Bay Journal with these words, ‘you have heard of Pevfest, now try Pevfeast, all the food establishments coming together to celebrate what they do in a day of special offers, that would bring loads of people into the Bay”, she explained with a twinkle in her eye.

The idea has morphed into a month of special menu events across the locality with the theme of an original ‘two course meal for a tenner’, borrowed from the successful tennerfests in Jersey.

Already with Katie Bundy at the Ocean Bakery, the event has captured her interest. The challenge for her to make 31 different homemade pies for the month in October is one that she clearly relishes in what could become a snogfest at the much loved local establishment.

In honour of Gina Bowman, who came up with the original PEVFEAST idea, there are already plans at the Bay Side Diner to create a special Sri Lankan curry dish for the month that will give full flavour to her idea.

People who talk about going for a ‘Ruby Murray’ at the popular eating destination, will be able to say that they are just off for “a Gina Bowman at the Bay Diner”, which will be a special two course curry meal as part of the tennerfest.

As local eating establishments come forward with their original two course meals for the ‘tennerfest’, we will publish details of what each establishment plans, in the lead up to the little local October food festival revolution.

A state of the art web platform to promote the Pevensey Food Festival is already in preparation and will go live at the end of June.

Next Wednesday (May 22) as the food festival plan is given the centre page spread in the Pevensey Bay Journal, we will see what the community has to say about the plan for an event that could become an annual celebration of being in Pevensey Bay and the locality, with a foodie event that might just have legs.

Bay Life reader, Janet Lombardelli commented, “Pev feast is a good one! Be good to see smaller sellers doing tasters somewhere (pref in sunshine outdoors)”.

Experienced event organiser, Jayne Howard, commenting on her twitter feed said “PevFeast’ wonderful, sounds blooming fab.

Further details about the inaugural Pevensey Food Frestival will be published in the coming weeks and months, both here on Bay Life web platform and in print in the Pevensey Bay Journal.